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The Jitterbug Smart, My view on this senior oriented phone

July 10, 2016

The Jitterbug Smart from Great Call…  could this be just the phone for your or a senior you know?

OK, technology is a not my normal subject matter to  post about, however since I work with a lot of seniors I felt it was worth a go, especially since one of the main uses of the Jitterbug Smart and Great Call  are their health and wellness apps and related services.

This device is promoted as a senior friendly smart phone due to the large buttons and interface it has developed in their attempt to bring new technology to older users.

JT_Front_000_and_JT_Right_ProfileAs a not quite senior myself, at age 62, and fairly familiar with smart phones and their usage, I was intrigued to see what this was was all about. I wanted to see if my older senior mom could use it if it were friendly enough.

For the last month or so I have been playing around with the Jitterbug Smart, an attractive and fairly easy to use phone. As an android user, I found it easy to use, although for an experienced user, somewhat limited. However I don’t view myself as their target user.

My first impressions when opening the box was the size of the phone. It is fairly large which offers a good size screen for viewing, a plus for older eyes. However for arthritic hands, it may tend to be a bit bulky for grasping and holding for extended use.

5 Star

The 5 Star account includes a number of programs and service levels for personal health and safety applications ranging from a one touch emergency call button to personal wellness coaching. You can read all about these programs here. Keep in mind that there may be additional monthly fees for use of some of the additional services.

Large buttons and text

I do like the large buttons and simplified menu when you first log into the phone. You can easily manage which menu items you see on the main screen for quick access to those apps and services.

You can choose between programs and your personal contacts and you have quick access to your 5 star account whenever you need it

Two apps that I really like that came preloaded with my test phone were the Brain Games and MedCoach. I feel both would be very beneficial to the senior user.

Again, the ease of accessing the apps made it a snap to find them.

What makes me leery about calling the Jitterbug Smart senior friendly.

As with all smart-phones there are the little things that the phones android platform does outside the customized interface.

The menus for customizing the apps are typically small as are the overall look and feel of all but the Great Call apps themselves.

Once a user of this device gets beyond the “Senior Friendly” menus the friendliness drops off quickly.

The update and status bar notification are still the normal tiny icons which many seniors will not notice or know how to handle when they see them. Normal day to day use of their custom interface is fine, however the typical smart phone glitches still exist.

I did find lag time, occasional lockups of apps, and some navigational confusion

So, do I call this a good phone for seniors?

It has taken me awhile to determine whether I would call it a phone for seniors or not. I can picture my 89 year old mom using the Great Call features, the camera, the brain games and the contact list. The rest of the applications I can see causing her to make a lot of support calls to me asking what to do.

This has to be a yes and no answer

For some it will be the perfect device as long as they stick with the basic features that come loaded, and if they have someone to teach them how to handle the little quirks mentioned above. Depending on the users personality and attention to details, they may very well get a great grasp on the technology and really use the device fully.

For others, as simple as it is, it may still be more complicated than they want or are able to handle.

 

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